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A Primer on RNP SAAAR

August 2009

RNP SAAAR stands for Required Navigation Performance - Special Aircraft and Aircrew Authorization Required. Until recently, RNP had not been implemented in U.S. airspace, but has now been implemented with approximately 30 RNP SAAAR published approach procedures with more planned for the near future.

Some of the benefits of RNP SAAAR are lower minimums to runways with difficult terrain, increased availability of under-utilized runways, improved backup procedures during ILS outages, improved airspace and traffic flows, elimination of circling maneuvers and lateral and vertical flight guidance to the runway.

In order for operators to utilize RNP SAAAR, a process similar to ILS CAT II//III approval is required. Installed equipment must also be compliant and modifications or upgrades will be required to comply with RNP SAAAR requirements. RNP approaches currently require dual FMS, dual autopilot, at least one inertial reference unit and two pilots trained to SAAAR standards for large aircraft such as the Boeing 737. Aircraft that are lesser equipped will eventually be capable with limitations.

If you think you may want RNP SAAAR capability, you should also consider GPS WAAS/LPV as a possible alternative. For more information on WAAS LPV, see our Straight Talk book WAAS.

If you would like more information on RNP SAAAR we recommend the following: